Mechanism of the combined effects of air rate and froth depth on entrainment factor in copper flotation
Lei Wang 1  
,  
Yaowen Xing 1
,  
 
 
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China University of Mining and Technology
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Lei Wang   

China University of Mining and Technology
Publication date: 2019-11-24
 
Physicochem. Probl. Miner. Process. 2020;56(1):43–53
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ABSTRACT
The effect of air rate and froth depth on the entrainment factor in flotation has been extensively studied, but further investigation on the underlying mechanism for their effect is still required. In this study, flotation tests were performed at different air rates and froth depths in a 3 dm3 continuously operated cell using an artificial copper ore. The results showed that entrainment factor was affected by both air rate and froth depth, and the combined effect of these variables on entrainment factor depended strongly on the particle size. The entrainment factor increased with either increasing air rate at a relatively shallow froth or decreasing froth depth at a relatively high air rate. At a very low air rate and deep froth, higher entrainment factor was observed for mid-size and coarse particles. When the entrainment factor was correlated to the effective liquid velocity at the pulp/froth interface, the results indicated that multiple mechanisms were responsible for the effect on entrainment factor. At a relatively high air rate and shallow froth depth, entrainment factor had a linear relationship with the interface effective liquid velocity, suggesting that drag force dominated the change in the entrainment factor when air rate and froth depth were varied. At a very low air rate and deep froth, the entrainment factor for fine particles was found to correlate strongly with the interface effective liquid velocity, while the entrapment of solid particles may be the main reason for the high entrainment factor for mid-size and coarse particles under this condition.
eISSN:2084-4735
ISSN:1643-1049